Olan (pronounced as O-lun)is another super easy and simple dish from Kerala that is a ‘must’ on the Onam Sadhya stage!

So, this is made two ways in my observation. One has just the white pumpkin and the other has both red and white pumpkins. I made both, but preferred the one with just the white pumpkin, so that’s the recipe that I am sharing with you all.

This can easily qualify for a 6-ingredients or less contest but win for it’s wonderfully satisfying flavors!


  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • White pumpkin/Ash Gourd
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Coconut milk
  • Green chilies
  • Fresh curry leaves
  • Coconut oil


  1. Soak 1/2 cup of black-eyed peas in 2 cups of water overnight. Next day, pressure cook it till it is al dente but not mushy.* Drain off the water and keep the beans aside.

  2. Peel the pumpkin and cut into 2" cubes to make 1.5 cups of pumpkin.

  3. Place the pumpkin in a pot and add just enough water to cover it.

  4. Add 2-3 green chilies slit vertically and salt to taste.

  5. Cook the pumpkin till it is tender.

  6. Add 1.5 cups of thick coconut milk to the boiled pumpkin.**

  7. Add the boiled, drained black eyed peas to the pumpkin and coconut milk mixture. Allow the Olan to come to a boil and turn off the heat. Do not overcook the coconut milk!

  8. Add 2 tsp of coconut oil and mix well allowing the oil to perfume the dish completely.

  9. Garnish with 6-7 fresh curry leaves.

  10. Pour on hot steaming rice/any starch of your liking and serve immediately with pappadum!


Notes to the Chef:

* You can also cook it on the stove top but that will require you to keep an eye on the beans and stir periodically to ensure that they don't get overcooked or undercooked.

** You can make your own coconut milk from freshly grated coconut or reconstituted desiccated coconut. But I used the canned version.

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